Traveling Ted is a blog that takes readers along on my adventures hiking, canoeing, skiing, and international backpacking. Many blogs focus on one aspect of backpacking, but I tackle both the outdoor adventure side and international exploration as well.

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Within a short time of arriving in Cartagena, I realized it was one of the most beautiful cities I have ever visited. I would not say it is more fantastic than Paris or Prague, but it is definitely on par or close to par. The city reminds me of mixture of New Orleans and Saint Augustine, but older and more authentic than New Orleans and more grand than Saint Augustine. This Cartagena Old City photo essay I hope describes better the beauty of the fortressed wonder than my words.

Cartagena Old City photo essay

Cartagena Old City photo essay

Unfortunately,  I feel I did not do the city enough justice as I spent three nights there, but only one in the Old City. The next two nights I stayed in the Morros district at a Flipkey apartment rental, which was 25 minutes away. I did come back and visit the Old City, but I was not feeling so great after overcoming sickness in Bogota and extreme heat near Tayrona. I was also tempted to just stay at my Flip key Rental since it was so awesome and on the beach. Despite the temptations and the setbacks, I did my best to make the most out of my Cartagena stay.

Cartagena Colombia

Cartagena photo essay – The walled city

Cartagena was founded by Spain in 1533 by Spanish commander Pedro de Heredia. After two centuries of attacks, the city continued to improve on its defenses and eventually constructed fortresses that enveloped the city. The Old City is still surrounded by these walls.

Cartagena walled city

Cartagena photo essay – Looking down on Cartagena from the top of the walled fortress

Tips on viewing Cartagena

The best way to enjoy any beautiful city in my opinion is just throw out the map and explore. The Old City is perfect for this because it is surrounded by walls. Many would fear this strategy in a city they are not familiar with for good reason as they might accidentally wander in a not so savory neighborhood by mistake. This is impossible in the Old City since you would have to wander outside the walls to fall into any danger.

I freely walked the cobblestone streets and had no idea where I was half the time. Eventually I would find myself at the Clock Tower or the walls and figure out where I was. There was also a few coffee shops where I leeched Wi-Fi from to check my google map.

Cartagena Old City photo essay

Cartagena Old City photo essay – Up on the roof at the hotel

My first night in Cartagena I stayed at the Hotel Don Pedro De Heredia in the Old City. It was a nice place and reasonably priced at around 70 usd, which is not bad considering the central location. The best part about the hotel from a sight seeing perspective was the view of the city on the top floor. They had a breakfast buffet on the roof, which provided a beautiful panoramic of the city.

Cartagena Colombia

Cartagena Clock Tower

Cartagena clock tower

Cartagena Old City photo essay – Clock tower at night – Just as beautiful at night perhaps even prettier

Another tip is to definitely check out the city at night. The beautiful colors are even more spectacular in the spotlight as the Old City is lit up each night. Due to the lighting and the amount of people walking, the Old City is very safe to walk even up to midnight. I think it is even safe later than that, but the crowds do thin a little bit after midnight so diligence is recommended if exploring late.

Cartagena Old City photo essay

Cartagena Clock Tower

Cartagena Old City Photo Essay – Cartagena Clock Tower

Cartagena Old City Photo Essay

Cartagena Old City Photo Essay – One of the many squares found inside the Old City – This one memorializes the founder of the city

Cartagena Colombia

Even the normal apartment buildings are picturesque in Cartagena with vibrant colors and interesting balconies

Cartagena Old City Photo Essay

Cartagena Old City Photo Essay – Another square, another row of beautiful buildings

Cartagena Old City Photo Essay

Cartagena Old City Photo Essay

Cartagena Old City

Another charming aspect of Cartagena was the amount of flowers and plants blooming along the balconies and building in the Old City

Cartagena green

Thrilled to find Cartagena such a green city – This was the inside courtroom at my hotel looking up from the pool

Cartagena Old City

One of the many narrow Cartagena streets with balconies adorned with colorful flags

Cartagena Old City Photo Essay

Cartagena Old City Photo Essay

Cartagena Old City Photo Essay

Cartagena Old City Photo Essay

Cartagena Old City Photo Essay

Cartagena Old City Photo Essay

Cartagena street

The streets of Cartagena are calling me back

Cartagena Old City Photo Essay

Cartagena Old City Photo Essay

I definitely plan to return to Cartagena someday soon to once again explore its narrow cobblestone streets filled with vibrant hued buildings overflowing with flowering plants, flags, and happy people. Who could not be happy in a city as picturesque as this.

Adventure on!

The goal of Traveling Ted is to inspire people to outdoor adventure travel and then provide tips on where and how to go. If you liked this post then sign up for the email newsletter. Notifications are sent out once or twice a month with what is new with Traveling Ted’s adventures. There is no spam and email information will not be shared. Other e-follow options include Facebook (click on the like box to the right) or twitter (click on the pretty bird on the rainbow above).

 

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